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What is CHP?

Combined heat and power (CHP) integrates the production of usable heat and power (electricity), in
one single, highly efficient process.

CHP generates electricity whilst also capturing usable heat that is produced in this process. This
contrasts with conventional ways of generating electricity where vast amounts of heat is simply
wasted. In today’s coal and gas fired power stations, up to two thirds of the overall energy consumed
is lost in this way, often seen as a cloud of steam rising from cooling towers.

Their relative sophistication means that the overall efficiency of CHP plants can reach in excess of 80%
at the point of use. This compares with the efficiency of CCGTs, which in the UK which range between
49% and 52%. Coal-fired plant fare less well with an efficiency of around 38%.

As an energy generation process, CHP is fuel neutral. This means that a CHP process can be applied to
both renewable and fossil fuels. The specific technologies employed, and the efficiencies they achieve
will vary, but in every situation CHP offers the capability to make more efficient and effective use of
valuable primary energy resources.

CHP plants provide local heat, electricity and sometimes even cooling to various types of users.
Because the energy is produced locally, CHP has the added benefit of avoiding efficiency losses
incurred through transmission and distribution of electricity through the National Grid and local
distribution networks. Around 7% of energy would usually be lost when the network is used to
transport energy from the generation source to the user. When taking account of these losses, the
respective efficiencies of both coal and CCGT plant fall further at the point of use.

Why choose CHP?

CHP is first and foremost an energy efficiency technology. It provides a means to substantially
reduce fuel, or ‘primary energy’, consumption without compromising the quality and reliability of
the energy supply to consumers. Consequently it provides a cost-effective means of generating
low-carbon or renewable energy.

CHP provides the following direct benefits:

 A minimum of 10% energy savings required by the CHP Quality
Assurance scheme although many installations will deliver markedly
higher savings

through more efficient use of fuel – regardless of whether the fuel is renewable or fossil  Increased flexibility and reliability of energy supply. electricity that is surplus to the needs of the site can be fed into the local network. . In some cases surplus heat can also be used to meet heat requirements of the surrounding local community. help to alleviate fuel poverty and lower cost in delivery of public services  Enhanced security of supply. such as large scale coal or gas fired power stations – thus reducing stress on the electricity grid. more and more important as the UK’s aging power stations are decommissioned TYPES OF CHP Industrial CHP These are typically the largest type of CHP plant. both nationally and locally – as CHP can complement and enhance other forms of energy generation  Flexible and responsive heat supplies – the thermal energy (heat or cooling) produced by CHP can be easily stored and later delivered to meet demand as required by the user  Reduced overall demand on centralised power supply.  Cost savings of between 15% and 40% over electricity sourced from the grid and heat generated by on-site boilers  A minimum of 10% carbon dioxide savings for good quality natural gas CHP in comparison to conventional forms of energy generation  High overall efficiency – up to 80% or more at the point of use  A proven and reliable technology with numerous successful installations throughout the world These in turn deliver a range of beneficial outcomes:  A reduction in the cost of energy can improve competitiveness of industry and business. Ranging in scale from a few MWe to the size of a conventional power station. making energy go further. Likewise. these plants provide high value heat – at the temperatures and pressures often required by industry – along with electricity.

But whilst the site processes over 400. The site also hosts one of Europe’s largest glasshouses. the output of each process becomes the input of the next. This highly efficient husbandry of resources – be it sugar beet. it also produces much more than sugar. This is enough power to meet the energy needs of 120. The 70 megawatt (MWe) capacity CHP plant also meets the steam and electricity needs of the sites core sugar production operations and is able to export some 50 MWe of additional low-carbon electricity back to the local network.000 people. to energy through even to CO2 – combined with environmental awareness and responsibility. . Heat recovery helps to significantly minimise the carbon footprint of the process.000 tonnes of renewable bioethanol per year. been a significant enabler to the expansion and diversification of the sugar factory. This includes for example a modern biorefinery that produces 55. not only ensures that the carbon footprint of the site is minimised. Adopting a highly resource efficient approach to production.Profile: British Sugar British Sugar’s Wissington site is the largest sugar beet factory in the world and the most efficient factory in Europe. Performance of the CHP plant itself was also recently augmented by the addition of a multimillion pound water injection system which boosts output from the gas turbine. This uses significant volumes of low grade heat and even the CO2 gases from the CHP plant to help grow over 80 million tomatoes each year (about 10% of UK demand). At the heart of this truly sustainable approach to manufacturing is a highly efficient CHP plant commissioned at the end of the 1990s. therefore.000 tonnes of the sweet stuff each year. but also helps preserve and enhance the competitive advantage of British Sugar as a company. The CHP plant provides a low cost source of energy for the facility and has.

mainly in flats.000 plus tonnes of CO2 each year when compared to conventional sources of energy – electricity from the national grid and heat generated by individual boilers. villages. on behalf of Sheffield City Council. benefit from connection to the scheme across Sheffield. This converts a staggering 225. generated from Sheffield’s own residual waste. More than 44km of underground pipes deliver energy which is generated at Sheffield’s Energy Recovery Facility. Some 2. CHP can provide heat and power to multiple customers in city centres.000 tonnes of waste into energy. towns. this being a high concentrated demand for heat. It saves an equivalent 21. the Lyceum Theatre and its two universities.000 Megawatt hours (MWh) of heat is delivered to customers. industrial zones and other built environments with a dense ‘heat load’.800 residential households. flats. shops. In a typical year around 120. There are currently over 140 buildings connected to the district heating network that benefit from using the low carbon energy providing the scheme. in addition to a wide variety of other buildings such as hospitals. Profile: District heating across Sheffield Sheffield's district heating network is the largest in the UK. offices and leisure facilities. It was established in 1988 and is still expanding today. . These include city landmarks such as the Sheffield City Hall.CHP with District Heating Connected to a district heating network. The scheme is operated by Veolia Environmental Services under contract.

ensuring waste material that would otherwise have gone to landfill can be harnessed as a valuable energy resource for the benefit of the local community. The city now sends less than 15% of its waste to landfill (the second lowest level in the UK). producing up to 60 MWe of thermal energy and up to 19 MWe of electrical energy. This adds to the environmental benefits of the scheme. . Example of district heating pipes being installed.

to provide cooling alongside heat and power from the same energy source. Here excess heat produced is cooled by absorption chillers linked to the CHP system.Trigeneration CHP can be incorporated into a ‘tri-generation’ scheme . The 37 acre waterfront site being built in phase one of the development will provide a new home for BBC North. providing a cooling service to buildings. as well as an education centre for Salford University. This is also known as combined cooling. It also delivers a minimum 29% saving in CO2 emissions when compared to supplying the power. The installation of the CHP energy centre will result in a saving of £560. was commissioned to design. Cofely. It also extends the environmental benefit of the scheme. This is particularly useful for schemes that require a large amount of air conditioning. build and operate a CHP tri-generation scheme to meet the energy needs of the flagship development. This is then circulated around the MediaCityUK complex through a hidden network of pipes. is recovered as hot water. as opposed to cogeneration. a leading energy and environmental efficiency services company owned by GDF SUEZ. Surplus heat is also used to chill water. ensures the development is able to maximise the benefit of the low-carbon energy provided across MediaCity throughout the year. Construction began in summer 2007and phase one of the site will be fully operational by 2011. in turn reducing overall CO2. displacing the need for separate air-conditioning. lost in a conventional system. It will also offer commercial and retail space along with seven state of the art studios. heat and cooling through conventional separate sources.000 each year in energy costs. Provision of cooling alongside heat and power. heat and power (CCHP). This provides chilled water for cooling to be circulated around a building or community. Electrical power used in the scheme is produced by a CHP engine using natural gas while the heat generated. A hotel and residential accommodation will also sit around a piazza twice the size of Trafalgar Square. Profile: MediaCityUK MediaCityUK is a £500 million project being developed and delivered by the Peel Group at Salford Quay in Manchester. .

West London. . when faced with the prospect of delays to refurbishment due to insufficient local power supplies. The installation of the two Cogenco 210 kilowatt (kWe) CHP units meant that the fast- tracked store enhancement could be completed as planned. care home or hotel amongst numerous other examples. through to smaller sites such as a leisure centre. Where relevant. supermarket. The two gas-fired CHP units now meet a large portion of the store’s electrical heating requirements as well as providing heat for hot water and space heating. these units can also feed power into the electricity network and can contribute excess heat to a district heating network. Profile: Sainsbury Sainsbury installed two standalone packaged CHP units at its store on Cromwell Road.Packaged and mini-CHP Packaged and mini-CHP is designed to meet the heat requirements of large and medium-sized standalone buildings such as an office complex. hospital or block of flats. The installation has also been designed so that the units can maintain power supplies to the store’s refrigeration systems in the event of an interruption to the mains power supply.

000. With a potential net saving of 1. it generates power mainly for consumption in the home but also for expert.000 tonnes a year. Even after the cost of the contract for operation and maintenance.000 per annum and CO2 emissions by nearly 2.The units have cut energy bills at the Cromwell Road store by £20. The unit. will result in a substantial reduction in the University’s large and expensive energy bill. As a replacement for a standard domestic gas boiler. Ed Miliband visits the CHP plant at Guy's & St Thomas' hospital Micro CHP Micro-CHP is a specific form of CHP designed for individual households. the CHP unit will certainly help them on their way in achieving this goal. alongside heat for space and water heating. it is anticipated that the CHP unit will provide an annual cost saving of approximately £250. to be run by Edina UK. Profile: Cranfield University Cranfield University is installing a packaged CHP unit ready for operation in October 2010. The store is just one numerous example where Sainsbury have installed CHPs and secured significant cost and environmental benefit as a result. . It will also provide a substantial contribution towards the University’s own target for reductions in CO2 emissions of over 50% over the period to 2014.500 tonnes of CO2.

alongside fuel cell and Organic Rankine Cycle.Profile: Baxi Ecogen micro-CHP unit The Baxi Ecogen is the first widely available wall-hung domestic micro-CHP boiler in the UK. Servicing costs and intervals of every 12 months are similar to a standard boiler. A Baxi Ecogen micro-CHP unit. The Baxi Ecogen is a type of Stirling engine micro-CHP unit. micro-CHP units from a wide range of other manufacturers are currently in development or nearing commercialisation. The benefits of local electricity generation and use mean an Ecogen unit can reduce yearly fuel bills by up to £600 and cut household carbon emissions by up to 40%. The units only requires a single cable electrical connection and can be connected to an existing electricity circuit ensuring installation costs are minimised. This means that owners of a unit receive an additional 13p on top of the standard sale price for each kilowatt hour (Kwh) of power they sell. Numerous other types of Stirling. Electricity that doesn't get used can then be sold back to the local network. Micro-CHP units are also included within the Government’s Feed-in Tariff scheme. to be used throughout the owner’s home. . The boiler produces up to 1 kWe of electricity per hour.